Friendly Reminder – mod_rewrite needs AllowOverride All

Running WordPress locally and not sure why the permalink or category pages are resulting in 404 errors?

It’s more than likely due to mod_rewrite not being allowed to do its job. If you don’t know anything about mod_rewrite, here is a nice howto. Also, of course, is Apache’s own documentation.

In a nutshell, the redirects created by WordPress in your .htaccess need the authority to send a page request elsewheres. Open httpd.conf and make sure that you have AllowOverride set to All.
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God was holding my leg and beating the (expletive) out of me

I was reading this story the other day in the paper. It’s about an 11 month old boy found 150 yards from the slab that used to be his house. A tornado ripped it apart and killed his mother. Miraculous and heartbreaking stuff. Even though I live in a part of the country where they are extremely rare, and have never personally had an experience with one, I’ve had nightmares about tornados. I think maybe four or five in all over the past maybe fifteen years. And so when reading that article, this description recounted by one survivor really stood out:

James Krueger, a 49-year-old electrician, opened the door to look out of the 100-year-old home he was restoring and the wind sucked the door from his hand. He dived onto the ground “as if I was sliding into first.” The house was pulled out from under him — and when it was over, he was on bare ground.

Can you imagine? I could only hope that if in the same situation, it all happens too fast for the fear to have time to take hold of me. And if later asked by a reporter how it all felt, I know my quote wouldn’t be nearly as enthralling as what this man provided:

“It was like God was holding my leg and beating the (expletive) out of me for everything I’ve done in my life,” said Krueger, of Lafayette. “Maybe I tried to question God too many times, but the bottom line is something kept me there.”

I wish I knew what the “expletive” was though. Regardless of how you feel about language like that, there are most definitely occasions where it’s called for, and I would love to have that quote exactly as it was given.
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Twirp

Main Entry:
  twirp

variant of

Main Entry: twerp
Pronunciation: \ˈtwərp\
Function: noun
Etymology: origin my father-in-law
Date: circa 1980

: an underwater toot

Definition of twirp as given to my wife, by her dad, when she was a kid. This was relayed to me the other night at supper and I laughed for a couple of minutes on the outside, and am still enjoying a sustained chortle on the inside.

Shred No More

Humorless Metalheads Shut Down Popular YouTuber:

Three humorless guitar heroes who were lampooned in a series of YouTube “shredding” videos have had the clips pulled offline after citing copyright infringement.

What really stinks here has nothing to do with copyright laws or ridiculously luddite guitarists. No, the tragedy is that I previously posted a crap-your-pants-laughing video by the guy who created the shredder videos, and now my embedded U-tube clip is dead.

UPDATE: If you’ haven’t yet seen them, and wonder what the fuss is about, Wired has made the shredding series available at their site.

Now Available on the Free and Legal Menu

Did you hear? Major Labels Allow P2P Music Sharing on Qtrax:

At the Midem conference in Cannes, France, Qtrax announced deals with all the major music labels and publishers to offer the first free and legal ad-supported P2P service to include major label music.
……
Klepfisz pegs the service’s catalog at more than 25 million songs, which would dwarf those of iTunes and other online music stores. The songs will be wrapped in Microsoft’s Windows Media subscription DRM. …… The application is based on the Songbird engine, so sharing and downloading occurs within a Firefox browser — no separate application required.

In case you missed it in the quote, here’s the QTrax site.

Of course, DRM sticks itself out like a big red flag, and you know what that mean! Its time to head over to BoingBoing to see what Cory Doctorow has to say about all this (which I’m sure will be very interesting). So, free and legal PtoP music? I’m sorta excited.

UDATE: whoops!
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HTML5

Via Wired, here’s the current draft HTML5, representing “the 5th major revision of the core language of the World Wide Web, HTML“. It was published this past Tuesday (1/22) as their first draft. I don’t know if it’s common to have such language included as part of these documents, but close to the opening one starts to get the distinct feeling that reaching this point in the document’s life was not easily accomplished:

The publication of this document by the W3C as a W3C Working Draft does not imply that all of the participants in the W3C HTML working group endorse the contents of the specification. Indeed, for any section of the specification, one can usually find many members of the working group or of the W3C as a whole who object strongly to the current text, the existence of the section at all, or the idea that the working group should even spend time discussing the concept of that section.

Got it…(awkward)
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TMBG 123s

One thing Christmas brought this year was an iPod (nano), and as a consequence I have spent a little time in iTunes, specifically looking for stuff my seven year old daughter could enjoy. Free stuff. Low-and-behold (is it hyphenated like that?), They Might Be Giants have a podcast promoting their upcoming children’s CD, Here Come The 123s. I’ve watched the first six and they’re pretty awesome. Here’s the iTunes subscription link. I’m pretty sure my favorite song so far is Nonagon (from 1/18). Honorable mention goes to “Letter Shapes” from 1/11.

Call to Find

Inspiration struck and out from within my soul poured the sweet liquid of poetry.

Where for art thou mobīle phone?
Someone from inside this home,
Please call the phone so it will ring,
And I can find that %$&! thing.

Please notice the macron over the ‘i’ in mobīle (i.e long vowel sound). Say it long and say it short. I’m sure you’ll notice it’s much better when “mobile” rhymes with “crocodile”.

Mac for the Aged

“Almost 30″ Johnson at BoingBoing Gadgets has a nice post about convincing his dad to buy an iMac.

(He’s one of those guys who can repair a tube-based amp without schematics, but only figured out that you could minimize an application window without losing all the data last year.)

I finally cajoled him into getting an iMac, primarily because I was tired of trying to troubleshoot his problems over the phone. I figured a Mac would be less prone to strange cruft and crashes in the first place and easier to use overall once he got over the initial operating system shock. And so far so good, although I think he’s just as impressed by the iMac’s looks as he is its performance.

I think I sometimes take for granted just how computer savvy my parents are. I get a decent amount of support calls from my dad for his office computers, but it’s all pretty understandable. My mom (as far as I know) sticks to the basics (email and shopping) and has pretty much honed those particular skills.

Jumper

Before you read what the movie is about, it might be best to do two things first, please.

1. Check out a bit of the pedigree: The director was producer of all three Bourne movies (probably best set of action movies ever), directed the first one (setting the pace for what would probably be the best set of actions movies ever) and directed Mr. & Mrs. Smith (probably better than you thought it’d be). Did you ever see the movie “Dear Wendy”? Great movie starring Jaime Bell, who was intense and fun. Good actor. Hey look, it’s wuuuulfy! And do I have to tell you who Samuel L. Jackson is? Peek at this writer’s list and you’ll notice some roses like Batman Begins and Dark City. This writer over here doesn’t have much, but he’s got Fight Club, which is plenty to me.
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Extinction Burst

My wife introduced me to the psychological phase Extinction Burst tonight. If you are trying to eliminate unwanted behavior through conditioning, there is a period of time during which that behavior will significantly increase before dropping back down and eventually disappearing for good.

Here’s a nice example:

My favorite example is the elevator button. Let’s say you ride the same
elevator every day. You get in, you push the button for your floor, and
you’re rewarded by the doors closing and the elevator taking you to your
destination. One day you get in and push the button, and nothing happens.
Do you immediately say, “Oh, this must not work anymore, I’ll just take the
stairs to the 11th floor”? Or do you push the button again? And again?
And harder? And faster? And in special sequences? That’s the extinction
burst.

That’s a great phrase. Nifty concept too.

I’m a “Well” Person Myself

I thought this bit of information was interesting:

One of the most unusual — OK, weird — features of Silicon Valley language is repetitive use of the word “so” to begin sentences when we’re answering questions. “So,” replaces the interjection “well” as it is used in the Midwestern and Southeastern American states and elsewhere.

If you ask someone in the South for directions, they’re likely to start with “Well, you turn right at the corner…” The word as used here implies that the speaker is thinking about it for a second before providing a considered answer.

In Silicon Valley, they’ll say, “So you turn right at the corner…,” which implies that the thinking has already taken place in the past.

The word “so” is used when the answer is very well known — or at least when the speaker wants to imply that his answer has been thoroughly reviewed by a committee and approved for public release without a nondisclosure agreement.

It reminds me of the tendency for people in the northeast (and elsewhere?) to add a rising intonation to the end of every sentence (interrogative or not). Sort of drives me crazy.